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How important are links to your web site?
The web is a democracy in action you know!

Link Popularity Exchange Article by Mick Liebner

The web is essentially a democratic system where surfers cast votes for web sites they believe are important by placing links, saving bookmarks and telling their friends about specific web addresses. Surfers cast votes for the sites they like.

While it may not be a secret that Link Popularity plays a large part (if not the largest part ) in the ranking of your web pages, not nearly as much is written about the quality of your links.

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In this series of articles I will analyze the various facets of linking and explain tips and secrets that may help to get your pages ranked higher on Google and the other search engines.

While much of this info is basic, perhaps a few ideas may set off a spark and give you a whole new understanding, so please read on.

Link Popularity

Link Popularity – how popular is your web site? How popular are your actual content pages? A web sites “link popularity” in the broadest sense refers to how many votes other web sites have cast for your web site. Every time a web site links to you it is in effect a vote for the validity of your content. The more relevant the voting web site, the more each vote will count.

Links can point to a web sites home page (or front page), or links can refer to specific exact URLs which are exact page addresses sometimes referred to as deep links.

Page Popularity. Page Link Popularity. Deep Linking. Deep Links. Direct Linking.

Page Link Popularity refers to deep linking votes where other web sites have linked directly to specific pages with articles or content within a web site. A deep link is a specific vote that points directly to the content the voting web site found useful and wanted to present to it’s visitors.

Specific web pages can sometimes rank higher than the front/home page of a web site. Some web sites have directories, individual sections and/or topic specific web pages that rank higher than the front page of their web site for many search terms, sometimes including the primary search term. This is the result of “deep linking” where a great number of web sites have linked directly to the content. Webmasters cast their votes for specific web addresses and it’s content.

An example of a deep link could be found on webmaster Milo’s web page that is specifically about the dog breed Jack Russell Terriers.

Milo’s Jack Russell Terriers Page

Milo found a cool web page on the American Kennel Club’s web site that is specifically about Jack Russell Terriers. He placed a direct link to that web page, instead of just linking to the front page of that site. Good thing for Milo’s web site visitors because you can’t even find the phrase Jack Russell Terrier on the front page, much less a direct link.

Milo wanted to make it easy for his visitors to find the info on Jack Russell Terriers without having to navigate unecessarily through page after page to find that Jack Russell Terrier page. After all isn’t that the point of placing links on a web site. To hot link a page so a visitor can get right to the relevant info. That is why we like search engines so much. Yes, Milo could have linked to the front page of the AKC site, but to make the link more relevant to his readers he opted to direct link to the page that is of interest to his visitors looking for info on Jack Russell Terriers.

Search engines reward us dearly for doing this type of direct deep linking. We help them determine the theme of the web page.

Oddly enough there are a few webmasters out there who do not appreciate direct linking to specific news pages or articles. Their theory appears to be that the visitors do not start off on their “front pages”. These minorities of webmasters want to control the visitors experience and have visitors start exactly on their index page. Sad lot these folks are because they are thinking more of themselves and less of their visitors, not to mention considering the benefits of deep linking to search engine exposure. Believe it or not there has been legal action over deep linking where they were trying to prevent the link to specific articles. Go figure.


Mick Liebner lives with his Jack Russell Terrier Milo in sunny Sherman Oaks, California and is constantly writing articles on webmaster tools and resources as well as working on ways to make his numerous web sites better. Among his web sites are,, and


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